The prime minister of Syria was almost killed during an assassination attempt on Monday when a bomb went off near his convoy. Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi was able to survive the attack, which happened in Damascus, but one of his bodyguards did not.
The attack occurred in a neighborhood where many state officials live, Mezze. It is just the latest in a string of attempts on the lives of high-ranking members of the Syrian government. Ali Balan, the government’s chief coordinator of emergency aid distribution to civilians, was killed less than two weeks ago when gunmen with silencer-equipped weapons struck while he was eating at a restaurant. That attack also occurred in Mezze.
Several aides who were loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were also killed or wounded during a bombing last July. That incident occurred prior to the civil war in Syria escalating to the level that it is at now, The New York Times reported.
Syrian state television called the attack a “terrorist explosion” that was “an attempt to target the convoy of the prime minister.” It has been reported that an improvised explosive device was placed under a car that was parked in the area. Someone then remotely detonated the device as al-Halqi's car drove by.
Al-Halqi's condition was described as “well and not hurt at all.”
The prime minister has been actively trying to convince the U.S. that it should support Syria in the ongoing civil war. “We are partners in fighting terrorism,” Al-Halqi said of the United States during recent interview.